Monday, March 26, 2007

WISE

Okay, I've sobered up a bit, got the languid tropical weather out of my bones. No residual taste of passion fruit or papaya in my mouth. Good old Toronto's minus 15 chill has slapped me awake. But haven't yet caught up with work or kept up with all the committees I'm involved with.

However, an important organizing committee from which I've slacked off lately is moving forward thanks to dedicated volunteers who have given many many hours of their time to put together a RFP (Request for proposal) to get the best deal possible from contractors to install solar panels in our neighbourhood. There are about 200 of us currently looking into pooling our purchasing power so we can contribute in protecting our environment and saving money by using solar-powered energy to produce electricity and/or to heat water in our houses.

If you're interested in this project, please check WISE (West Toronto Initiative for Solar Energy). We want to spread the word out so many other neighbourhoods can join us, not only in Toronto, but across Ontario, and hopefully the rest of Canada which has been slow compared to European countries like Germany to take an active role in reducing pollution and stopping the depletion of the earth's ozone layer.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Trip to Mauritius

I'm back but operating in slow motion, recovering from jetlag and too much fun. It started with pounding waves from the tail end of a cyclone.













The weather calmed down but for me it was a continuous barrage of sensations rediscovering Mauritius, the island where I was born, and reconnectiing with relatives, friends, and the exotic landscape. With the awareness of a camera in hand, every corner I turned seemed to offer images for thought.

People are so approachable, warm, and friendly along the coastal villages. They live with so little and yet seem so content and happy. I wanted to feel the heart of the island through its fishermen, its children and the people who make it tick, and wished I could spend more time learning their way of life.













To appreciate the two extremes of the island fully, I spent a couple of days in the pampered environment of a luxury resort. However, it takes only a few days to indulge in such decadence: freshly cut flowers and champagne to welcome us, thick, fluffy bathrobes and towels, private pool, spa, gourmet buffet, tea served by villa master, etc. After the novelty wears off, it feels more like an artificial paradise, illusory, not in touch with the real world, but it's still an experience not to be missed, especially when snorkelling and discovering underwater wonders. And it's great to know that the island's economy is thriving from European tourists who flock to these amazing resorts that dot the island's coast.